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Moms, Here's How You Can Turn Your Breastmilk Into Chic, Keepsake Charm Bracelets!

Time goes by quickly. In the blink of an eye, newborns learn to crawl, toddlers learn to run, and teenagers eventually soar into independence. It's a bittersweet reality: little ones won't stay little forever.

But not to worry, Metro moms—you can now turn priceless mother-and-child memories into something tangible, and not to mention, wearable.

Imagine turning your breastmilk (aka your liquid gold!) into an inspiring bracelet charm.

Imagine wearing your newborn's umbilical cord around your neck—but in the form of a stylish necklace.

Imagine turning cherished memories—your toddler's first haircut, the blanket your child never seems to sleep without, the first milkteeth to fall out—into fashionable accessories that will remind you of a challenging yet fulfilling chapter in your life. 

The great news is, these jewellery pieces actually exist—and are quite accessible, too!

Enter Sacred Elements Jewellery, an Instagram boutique that turns breastmilk, hair, umbilical cords, milk teeth, fabrics, nails, and placentae into special keepsakes that will last a lifetime. 

One of the latest celebrity moms who raved about this unique product is Rica Peralejo-Bonifacio. Admittedly a Pandora-collector, the now mother-of-two recently added a new charm to her collection, representing another chapter in her life. 

"The reason I got started with Pandora was [because] I wanted a way to never forget the two babies that I lost," she captioned on Instagram. "Then I slowly saw other beads which represented other seasons of my life, and felt inclined to add something meaningful each time! My latest addition actually does not come from Pandora, but it happens to fit right there with everything else! The newly added DNA BEAD is filled with Manu’s umbilical cord and placenta powder. I am actually looking for Philip’s first ever haircut so I can also have a DNA BEAD for him."

Photo: @ricaperalejo

Rica Peralejo had a DNA bead customized using her newborn baby's umbilical cord and placenta powder

Photo: @ricaperalejo

 

What is a DNA Bead?

The DNA bead by Sacred Elements Jewellery was conceptualized by Irina Otmakhova-Yamat, a childbirth doula and placenta encapsulation specialist. "Being involved with families through the most intense and highly emotionally-charged experiences of bringing a new life into the world made me want to offer something special and tangible," shared Irina in an exclusive interview with Metro.Style. "A new child means the world to my clients. I want to honor the challenging journey of being a parent."

 

In an exclusive interview with Metro.Style, Irina shares everything you need to know about having keepsake jewellery made.

 

Tell us something about yourself.

I am Irina Otmakhova-Yamat, a Russian married to a Filipino, and a mother of two girls. We are expecting a new addition to the family soon!

Photo: @irina_doula

 

When and how was Sacred Elements Jewellery established?

We officially launched in August 2017, after being part of Conscious Birth Manila (my childbirth support and placenta encapsulation service) for over a year. It felt right to give this creative direction a separate name and space on social media. Making DNA keepsake jewellery became more than just creating mementos connected to birth—it also became the opposite end of the spectrum. We also honored lives well-lived! I frequently received requests to create memorial keepsakes using cremation ashes and dentures, as well as other elements like pet fur, flowers, and sand.  

Sacred Elements Jewellery was born as it encompasses the sacred nature of each and every creation. 

 

What is the story behind DNA beads?
Since I was already preserving mementoes through placenta prints and spiral / heart-shaped dehydrated umbilical cords, I decided to take it a step further. I created DNA love-laced pieces of jewellery with placenta first, and afterwards, I incorporated other elements such as hair, nail clippings, milk teeth, and finally, breastmilk. Exploring how to preserve and encapsulate breastmilk was the most challenging part of this journey.

 

Who creates and designs the charms? 

The designs are created by me and my assistant artist. If a piece requires customised setting in gold or silver, I have an established, collaborative relationship with a local smith. Some of the settings are shipped from abroad. 

 

What are the materials used in DNA beads?

I use jewellery-grade resin for the creation of DNA stones, cast in special moulds. The settings for pendants and rings are offered in sterling silver and 14k gold (white and rose gold). Finally, glass lockets mostly come in stainless steel. 

 

How is breastmilk incorporated into the beads?

Breastmilk undergoes a special chemical preservation process. As a result, it is turned into powder. Consequently, it is mixed with jewellery grade resin, and cast in the mold or directly into the setting. The same applies for other inclusions (eg hair, nails, placenta powder, umbilical cords, etc), which are also set in resin. In addition, clients can also personalize their piece with shimmers and sparkls of their choice.

 

A Pandora-style DNA bead using breastmilk

Photo: @sacredelementsjewellery

 

Three Pandora-style beads holding baby’s nails (citrine), hair (blue), and mama’s breastmilk (white with opal flecks).

Photo: @sacredelementsjewellery

 

How long does it take for the charm to be created? How long is the waiting period for clients?

The waiting period ranges from 5 to 12 weeks, depending on the setting required. Pendants, rings, and charms that require the work of a smith in gold or silver take a bit longer. On the other hand, pieces that come with ready-made settings or don’t require any are the fastest to make. 

 

How much do they cost? Can you give us a price range?

Prices range is from P2,500 to P20,000, depending on the designs and materials required. 

 

What are your best-selling designs?

The Pandora-style charms that incorporate breastmilk, hair, umbilical cords, etc are definitely our best-sellers. These also have customized, sterling silver cores that bear an inscription of choice (eg. name, date, etc.).

Another best-seller is the double-sided Love Capsule in a 14K gold frame. Love Capsules come in four shapes (heart, circle, teardrop, and rectangle), and can hold a large variety of inclusions and sparkles at the same time.

This Love Capsule pendant holds a precious hair curl.

Photo @sacredelementsjewellery

This “Love Capsule” pendant in sterling silver holds a baby's umbilical cord.

Photo: @sacredelementsjewellery

This Love Capsule in 14k yellow gold houses mama’s breastmilk and baby’s cord. It also has the letter S at the back in silver and gold.

Photo: @sacredelementsjewellery

 

Photos via @sacredelementsjewellery and @ricaperalejo